Conference Preview: Industry Leaders Share Key Trends for Health Care Marketing and Strategy in 2022

March 29, 2022

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

Jane Weber BrubakerGet an exclusive inside view of the major themes at this year’s Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit. 

Looking to recharge and reconnect? Head to the 27th Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit in Salt Lake City, May 16-18. Not only will you finally be able to emerge from the metaverse of nonstop Zoom meetings and spend quality time with your peers — in person — the lineup of sessions will give you the energy and inspiration you need to shed the exhaustion of the past two years and hit the reset button on your organization’s top priorities.

Judy Neiman, president, Forum for Healthcare Strategists

Judy Neiman, president, Forum for Healthcare Strategists

Judy Neiman, president of the Forum for Healthcare Strategists, presenting sponsor of HMPS, the Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit, says, “This year as we were developing the agenda, a theme emerged. Regardless of how our roles and organizations have evolved, the common thread is the importance of communicating and collaborating with those in other areas throughout the organization with the end goal of increased consumer engagement. Today, the challenges are so great that now more than ever, people must work together and learn from one another.”

Being together is the best way to learn from one another.

We checked in with the conference planning committee — a stellar group of leaders and visionaries from across the health care marketing and physician strategies spectrum:

  • Susan Alcorn, President of Alcorn Strategic Communications and Of Counsel, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock
  • Kriss Barlow, Principal at Barlow McCarthy
  • Chris Boyer, Vice President, Digital & Marketing Intelligence, Beth Israel Lahey Health
  • David Perry, Senior Advisor at Stanford Health Care and Principal/Founder, Perry IQ

Here they share their thoughts on the current state of the industry and where it needs to go, and we point you to some of the excellent sessions — a sneak peek at a strong lineup of highly relevant topics presented by top industry leaders.

David Perry, Senior Advisor, Stanford Health Care

David Perry, senior advisor at Stanford Health Care and principal/founder, Perry IQ

To figure out where we’re going as an industry, we asked the group to pause and reflect on where we are today, and how that influenced the conference focus.

Among the big changes brought on by the pandemic were breakthrough innovations and fast-tracking of existing technologies like telehealth. “We’re trying to figure out what we learned from all that, and what we’ll bring forward,” says David Perry.

Work: Here, There, and Everywhere

Organizations are grappling with the impact of remote work on teams. Collaboration is an essential driver of creative breakthroughs, and it’s difficult to simulate in an all-virtual world. “We’re involved in some brand initiatives at Stanford Medicine,” Perry says. “We’ve noticed a real loss in activation-related activities where you actually have to be together and really interact.” 

MarCom & HR: Working Together, Tuesday 5/17 at 11:15 a.m. How to keep employees engaged regardless of where they work from.

Building Strong Employee Relationships, Tuesday 5/17 at 2 p.m. Connecting and educating 60,000 associates across seven states.

Chris Boyer, vice president, digital & marketing intelligence, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Chris Boyer, vice president, digital & marketing intelligence, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Chris Boyer comments, “In the future state, we’re going to be working in a hybrid model. So how do we engage in whiteboarding sessions and all the other things that we do, through digital mediums? Now we have to operate in ways that we haven’t before, that other industries have already embraced. But we are just beginning to determine the right way to accomplish this.”

The pandemic shifted organizations out of functional silos and into enterprise-wide problem-solving. “It really elevated the role of marketing and communications,” says Perry.

Now that marketing and communications has earned a seat at the table, Susan Alcorn sees this change as an opportunity to continue the collaboration across divisions. “I think it’s really important that communications and marketing figure out how to work with our HR and IT colleagues.”

MarCom & HR: Working Together, Tuesday 5/17 at 11:15 a.m. How to keep employees engaged regardless of where they work from.

The CMO/CIO Partnership: Focus on the Consumer, Monday 5/16 at 4:15 p.m. Partnership is critical for a true customer-focused transformation.

Navigating the C-Suite, Tuesday 5/17 at 10 a.m. Building partnerships and avoiding power plays, politics, and misunderstandings.

Rebooting Physician Relations

Susan Alcorn, Strategic Counselor of Counsel, Alcorn Strategic Communications & Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock

Susan Alcorn, Alcorn Strategic Communications and Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock

The strength of physician relations teams has traditionally been face-to-face meetings. “Teams are feeling tremendous pressure for growth, but we’re in a state of flux about how to grow. We can’t grow the way we’re used to,” says Kriss Barlow.

She points out that organizations were “fabulously nimble” during the crisis. “What’s our plan now, coming out of the crisis?” she asks. “I think a whole lot of this conference for [physician liaisons] is going to be about the reboot. What does it look like? How do we take what we really learned about connectivity with referring physicians through virtual and keep some of that, but then redevelop how we do the face-to-face meetings to earn new referrals?”

Physician Relations in a Hybrid World, Wednesday 5/18 at 9:30 a.m. Engage physicians virtually and in person.

Growth Plans for Physician Relations with ROI as the Endgame, Monday 5/16 at 12 p.m. A C-suite-endorsed, ROI-driven results report aligns physician relations.

Referral Strategies for the New Reality, Monday 5/16 at 1:15 p.m. Examine innovative referral management solutions.

Consumerism and Data

Consumerism doesn’t apply just to consumers. “People have truly embraced and adopted consumeristic patterns, regardless of what you are, if you are a physician, if you are a potential patient, or what have you,” says Boyer. “Our role as marketing and communication professionals is to be the voice of the customer and reflect that back to the organization.”

HMPS serves up a buffet of sessions focused on personalization, targeting, digital strategies, AI, patient loyalty, and much more.

Take Your Personalized Approach to Care to the Web, Monday 5/16 at 1:15 p.m. Sophisticated segmentation and impressive optimization support organizational promises.

Digital Demand: Meet Online Consumer Expectations, Tuesday 5/17 at 2 p.m. Key trends that have accelerated the new patient journey.

CRM Is Dead. Long Live CRM Intelligence, Tuesday 5/17 at 2 p.m. How to adapt AI for your health system.

The Next Decade of Consumer Healthcare, Tuesday 5/17 at 10 a.m. AI, personal monitoring, new competition, politicization of health care, health disparities.

Enhance Patient Access with Direct Provider Engagement, Monday 5/16 at 3 p.m. A modernized care search process, including a comprehensive provider directory that tracks consumer access analytics.

Integrate the Customer Journey, Tuesday 5/17 at 2 p.m. Cross-functional solutions enable a holistic approach to patient engagement.

Disruptive & The Traditional: What Do Consumers Say, Monday 5/16 at 3 p.m. Valuable insights from just-in research from 1,000+ consumers nationally.

Kriss Barlow, principal at Barlow/McCarthy

Kriss Barlow, principal, Barlow/McCarthy

Data is key to delivering on customer expectations. Barlow points out that “to be a good strategist, whether it’s bus dev or marketing or communications or physician strategy, you have to embrace the data.” Alcorn adds, “We have some brilliant colleagues who are going to be presenting on data that’s actually usable. How does data impact how we do our work?”

It can be challenging to break down the walls internally and get access to data. “Finance or Operations may say, ‘We can’t give you that information, it’s proprietary,’” says David Perry. “Yet you want me to grow service-line by 20 percent. But I can’t have the data to analyze it.”

Marketers attending the conference will have the opportunity to compare notes with one another and gain the confidence to push back on resistance.

Unlock Data’s Strategic & Marketing Potential, Tuesday 5/17 at 11:15 a.m. Leverage and seamlessly connect key internal and external datasets across platforms.

Targeting in an Evolving Data Access Environment, Monday 5/16 at 12 p.m. Strategies to maximize the impact of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-party data.

A Data-Driven Approach to KAIs & KPIs, Tuesday 5/17 at 2 p.m. Data-driven approaches for identifying, analyzing, and tracking performance for physician relations.

We counted more than 60 sessions in the HMPS brochure, covering many more topics than we have room for in one article — service-line marketing, content strategy, brand building, strategic communications, digital experience, diversity, and much more.

We are finally out of the woods. We’ve been through a communal hell. Now it’s time for a communal celebration. Hope to see you in Salt Lake City!

View the full conference brochure here.

Jane Weber Brubaker is executive editor of Plain-English Health Care, a division of Plain-English Media. She directs editorial content for eHealthcare Strategy & Trends and Strategic Health Care Marketing, and is past chair of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. Email her at